Change and constancy in developmental contexts

Michael J. Shanahan, Frank J. Sulloway, Scott M. Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


As the 21st century begins, social forces are creating substantial diversity in developmental settings through the child's early life course. Aconsiderable proportion of youth will experience disruptions in family structure, fluctuations in levels of economic resources, and residential moves that may involve changes in peer groups and schools. This paper reviews a set of conceptual distinctions that are well suited to the study of the dynamic properties of context. The paper also underscores the importance of integrating the life course with behavioural genetics to determine more accurately the joint contributions of environments like the family and genotypes to development. Because both person and context exhibit change and stability through time, an understanding of these complex interactions will require generative collaborations among developmentalists from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-427
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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